Court rules on restricting access to Telegram in Russia

16 April 2018
It looks like Telegram lovers will have to find a new way to communicate with friends and family in Russia. The Tagansky District Court of Moscow ruled to restrict access to the popular messenger for refusing to provide encryption keys for access to users' correspondence.It should be recalled that on 6 April this year, Roskomnadzor filed a lawsuit to block Telegram in Russia. The reason for this was the refusal of the messenger team to comply with the requirements of the law "On Information, Information Technology and Information Protection", namely, to provide the keys to decrypt the correspondence of users to the Federal Security Service. Despite the fact that Telegram stated that it was impossible to meet the requirements, as the company does not have access to the necessary information, the court sided with the Federal Security Service. Curiously, Telegram representatives were absent from the hearing. According to the Interfax news agency, the Telegram messenger will be blocked by Russian operators and providers as early as today, Monday, April 16. It is not yet clear whether Telegram representatives will appeal against the court's decision. Nevertheless, the creator of the messenger - Pavel Durov, has already published his appeal to users of the messenger on his VKontakte page. According to him, Telegram plans to use built-in methods to bypass blocking. It is expected that they will not require any action on the part of users. At the same time, the developers do not guarantee 100% availability of the service without a VPN. In addition, Durov warned that in the first hours of blocking, third-party VPN/Proxy-services are likely to be overloaded and may work slowly. He also urged not to uninstall or reinstall the messenger if there are problems with the connection and, if possible, to install updates in a timely manner. Finally, Durov noted that Telegram developers would be able to send notifications to all Russian users centrally, informing them of the developments, regardless of the blockage.